CANADA Sing Tao, Canada's largest Chinese-language newspaper, to cease print...

Sing Tao, Canada’s largest Chinese-language newspaper, to cease print publications


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Sing Tao will cease its daily print publication on August 28. (Sing Tao Media Group)

Canada’s largest Chinese-language newspaper will cease publishing its print edition next month after more than four decades of existence.

The print edition of Sing Tao Daily, which is published in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, will shut down on August 28, leaving 83 people out of work.

In a statement, Sing Tao Media Group, which is co-owned by Hong Kong-based Sing Tao News Corp. and Torstar Corp., say it will focus on becoming “Canada’s leading Chinese news, information and entertainment digital media platform.
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CEO Calvin Wong says readers, including seniors, are increasingly comfortable getting their news digitally, a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic as people spend more time at home.

“In fact, we found that of the older group of people, about half of them are already very fluent on smartphones and tablets,” he said. “So in that sense, I don’t think we’re going to lose that kind of audience.”

The company will continue to publish its magazines, ElitGen and the Canadian City Post, as well as a weekly traditional Chinese lifestyle publication.

Sing Tao will go digital, resulting in 83 job losses. (Sing Tao Media Group)

Carlin Finch, president of Unifor Local 87-M, a union representing 43 of Sing Tao’s 83 laid-off workers, says employees were “totally overwhelmed” by the move.

“I think it was a huge culture shock for them,” she said. “I think a lot of them believed it would eventually happen, but they never thought it would happen this early.”

Finch is concerned that the end of the print edition will leave some readers behind.

“I understand that the company seems to think that the younger generation is using their phones, but I think there is still a very large generation that likes to tactilely feel like a newspaper and want to know what’s going on in their local communities. ,” she said.

Finch says the print closure comes at a challenging time for the media.
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Bill C-18, which would require tech giants like Facebook and Google to pay to reuse news produced by professional Canadian news organizations, has stalled.

When Bill C-18 was announced, the federal government said the bill would provide Canadians with access to quality, fact-based news in a time of growing disinformation and public mistrust.

“We need to, as Canadians, start supporting journalism and local media and make sure we do everything we can to make sure our voices are heard,” Finch said.

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